Superior Spider-Man Volume 3: No Escape
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Humberto Ramos
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Released: November 20, 2013
I can’t think of any great Spider-Man series that is as engaging as Superior Spider-Man. I’m not usually a fan of Peter Parker but having a villain changing up one of Marvel’s best heroes is fresh and fun to read. Volume 1 and 2 were excellent as you learn that Dr.Octavius steals Peter Parker’s body and removes Parker’s consciousness and begins to live Parker’s life more efficiently than Peter ever could. The best part was that Otto would harm and hurt his foes badly, and at one point Superior Spider-Man kills Massacre. He even fell out of love with Mary Jane and in love with a little person named Anna Maria Marconi. He develops Spider-bots that patrol New York for him so he can almost be everywhere at once. Volume 3 plays out really well as Octavius has finally removed any consciousness that was left of Peter Parker and is now the sole owner of Peter Parker’s body.
Volume 3 starts out with J. Jonah Jameson calling Spider-Man, effectively allowing Dr.Octavius to leave his old classmate’s class that Peter Parker was now a student in. Jameson tells Spider-Man that one of the most vile of villains Alistair Smyth the Spider Slayer is being executed, and given that the island Raft is known for prisoners and villains consistently escaping captivity, Spider-Man needs to oversee the execution so that Smyth does not escape. Spider-Man agrees and ends up going to the Raft along with his Spider-bots. There is a little hint on one of the panels indicating that Smyth has something planned. Spider-Man tours the prison and sees the rogues gallery of villains that he has injured as he makes his way to the execution audience and taunts Smyth along the way. As predicted, the Spider Slayer escapes and tries to escape. Luckily the Superior Spider-Man has planned for all potential escape outcomes and uses his Spider-bots to prevent Alistair Smyth from escaping. Smyth has an ace up his sleeve as he sends out his tech-drones to assist the injured villains regain their strength and powers are then given back to them with the power of his tech-drones turning them into ultra mecha versions of themselves (Scorpion, Boomerang, and Vulture). Boomerang fights with Spider-Man while Scorpion is trying to seek out the vigilante Jonah Jameson (who is armed with a machine gun and inside a prison guard suit) and Vulture is heading to kill the shielded audience members from the execution, all while Smyth is trying to escape leaving Spider-Man to make a tough decision on who to save first.
Needless to say, Superior Spider-Man does the clever thing and decides to go after Alistair Smyth instead. Superior Spider-Man ends up killing Smyth’s body and thus killing the tech-drone that supported the mecha villains. The villains are rendered injured as they were in their beds (Vulture blind, Scorpion missing his jaw, Boomerang completely incapacitated) all mid fight. Jonah Jameson is rescued by Dr.Connors aka Lizard and none of the civilians are harmed by Vulture. What makes all of this special is how it wraps up. Jameson had told Spider-Man that he was allowed to kill Smyth when they were alone together earlier, so after Jameson had been rescued, Spider-Man blackmailed Jameson with a video of the verbal command given to Spider-Man in the agreement that J. Jonah Jameson funds Spider-Man’s work and that he is given Raft to convert into his very own Spider Island 2.
The second part to Volume 3 is when Superior Spider-Man takes down Shadowland where the Kingpin of Crime Wilson Fisk and Phil Urich the Hobgoblin run the crime business. Hobgoblin is on the run and upon being scanned by a Spider-bot he is rendered as undetected which shows you that something has gone wrong with Superior Spider-Man’s eyes on the city. As the Hobgoblin goes back to his everyday life as Phil Urich, working for the Daily Bugle and writing stories on his alter ego Hobgoblin, soon a broadcast is initiated throughout New York on every single television screen outing Phil Urich as the Hobgoblin and for civilians to report him and bring him to justice. Phil Urich begins to lose it and is driven to taking a hostage in which case ends up being dismantled in the streets of New York. As Superior Spider-Man is about to kill him, Captain America steps in and Phil ends up arrested. On the way to the police station Phil Urich is taken by Menace and brought to Green Goblin who seems to be running New York’s drug business and inducts Urich as his new Goblin Knight.
Volume 3 has fantastic art and lots of great action. Art in this book that stands out for me would be Alistair Smyth and his tech-drones that turn the villains into mecha villains. They visually look really cool and this whole concept of having enhanced powers instantly after being injured to incapacitation is really fresh. The other really notable part was when all of New York had the broadcast of Spider-Man outing Phil Urich on all of the televisions in the city, Times Square looked really cool in that scene. The writing is done fantastically, Dan Slott is a craftsman with his Spider-clay, molding a really fresh and interesting take on an old hero and enhancing Peter Parker’s life for the future. I am excited to read the rest of this series as it is actually one of my favourite Spider stories of all time, finding it’s place next to the classic Sinister Six story and the classic Kraven’s Spidey hunt story (but I would read Scarlet Spider over Amazing Spider-Man any day). I would recommend this book to all Spider-Man fans as this story really changes things up for the wall crawler, and to all people who never really liked Peter Parker. The new attitude of Superior Spider-Man really shakes things up for the better and a Spider-Man that crosses the line is welcomed as I enjoy when people get beat down in ways they usually wouldn’t by Spidey. I rate this book 4 beaten half to death villains out of 5.
~ Tyler Head